Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has suggested that cutting the number of Welsh regions from four to three could be the right move forward.
The WRU are considering reducing the number of Welsh regions from four to three after a report found that it could make the sport in the country more finically viable while improving the standard of the remaining teams.
Unsurprisingly, there has been plenty of opposition to such a move from past players, supporters and those involved with the regions, although Pivac seems less convinced that cutting a team would be a bad idea.
Pivac was speaking to WalesOnline about the situation and suggested that there are professional players in the country who are not up to standard.
Wayne Pivac on cutting one of the regions.
“It depends on how you rate the player pool and how many players you think are capable of playing international rugby. Are we paying players that aren’t really at that level? So there’s a lot of factors to take into account,” Pivac said.
“You could also say that if you reduce the number of teams, like Scotland, you might have a couple of competitive teams. There’s an argument both ways, I think.
“The big thing for us, if you look at the teams that have been dominant in the club scene, your Saracens, your Crusaders, your Leinsters, and you look at their national teams and they are all aligned, so I think it is very important we get that alignment. It certainly helps the national team.”
Head Coach Wayne Pivac gives his comments on the squad for the upcoming Summer Tour to South Africa. pic.twitter.com/poWp7v0qeV
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The troubled history of professional rugby in Wales.
The transition from amateur to professional rugby in Wales was anything but smooth, and problems persist today almost three decades on from the change.
When the game turned professional in 1995, all of the clubs in the Welsh Premiership followed suit, and nine professional Welsh clubs played in the first season of the Celtic League (now URC) in 2001.
In 2003, the clubs were merged into five regions, although one of those regions, the Celtic Warriors, played for just one season before disbanding.
Since then Wales has had four professional teams; Cardiff, the Ospreys, the Scarlets and the Dragons, although the latter now appears to be in danger of disappearing.